In the face of the growing missile threat against Israel and in an effort to increase civil defense cooperation, the IDF Home Front Command has appointed an officer to travel to the United States and serve as a liaison with the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The decision to send a liaison to the US was approved by the General Staff and OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan several months ago.
The officer who will serve in the post, Maj. Chezy Deutsch, originally from New York, is currently the command’s director of international relations, will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and will be stationed at National Guard headquarters in Washington.
He will also serve as a liaison to the US Military’s NORTHCOM, the command responsible for protecting the US homeland and supporting local, state and federal authorities.
Deutsch, who will leave in July for the US, will also serve as the representative for the Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA).
“In the US, there are a number of agencies that deal with civil support missions and while the threats are different, since America’s direct challenge is not missiles, the question of coordination between agencies and the military and civilian levels is the same,” Deutsch said on Sunday.
The idea to exchange liaisons came up in 2008 during a visit by a top
National Guard officer to Israel. Several months later, Golan and
Deutsch traveled to the US and visited NORTHCOM, FEMA and the National
Guard and made the final decision that it was in the IDF’s interest to
send a liaison.
Home Front Command and National Guard relations were bolstered during
Operation Cast Lead last year, when a delegation from the US’s EUCOM
and the National Guard came to Israel to observe the home front
operations. The delegation visited Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot as well as
command centers throughout the country.
Deutsch said that in his new position he will be able to attend civil
defense exercises throughout the US and study doctrine and operational
methods. He said he would also be on the lookout for new equipment that
could assist the Home Front Command in civil defense missions here.
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